Friday, August 1, 2014

Power Equipment Shutdown, IFPL 3 Take Effect Monday, Aug. 4

Very dry conditions in southwest Oregon’s forests and wildlands, and the recent outbreak of large wildfires, makes it necessary for the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Southwest Oregon District to shut down public use of power-driven and spark-emitting equipment starting Monday, Aug. 4, at 12:01 a.m.
 
In addition, the Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) rises to level 3 (three) on that same day.
 
The fire danger level remains “extreme” (red).
 
These regulations affect the 1.8 million acres of state, private, county and Bureau of Land Management forestlands in Jackson and Josephine counties.
 
Below are the public regulated use restrictions that take effect Monday:
  • Chain saw use will be prohibited;
  • Mowing of dried and cured grass with power driven equipment will be prohibited, except for the mowing of green lawns, or the commercial culture and harvest of agricultural crops;
  • Cutting, grinding and welding of metal will be prohibited.
 
The following public regulated use restrictions are currently in effect and will remain in effect:
  • Debris burning is prohibited;
  • Burn barrel use is prohibited;
  • Smoking is prohibited while traveling, except in vehicles on improved roads;
  • Open fires are prohibited, including campfires, charcoal fires, cooking fires and warming fires, except at designated locations.  Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels are allowed;
  • Use of motor vehicles, including motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles, is prohibited, except on improved roads;
  • Use of fireworks is prohibited;
  • Any electric fence controller in use shall be: 1) Listed be a nationally recognized testing laboratory or be certified by the Department of Consumer and Business Services, and 2) Operated in compliance with manufacturer’s instructions;
  • Use of exploding targets is prohibited;
  • Use of tracer ammunition or any bullet with a pyrotechnic charge in its base is prohibited;
  • Any other spark-emitting machinery not specifically mentioned is prohibited;
  • Use of sky lanterns is prohibited.
 Under IFPL 3, the following fire prevention regulations take effect on Monday:
  • Cable yarding will not be allowed. However, gravity operated-logging systems employing non-motorized carriages may operate until 1:00 p.m. and after 8:00 p.m. These systems must have all blocks and moving lines suspended 10 feet above the ground, except the line between the carriage and the chokers;
  • Power saw use will not be allowed. However, power saws may be used until 1:00 p.m. and after 8:00 p.m. at loading sites and on tractor or skidder operations;
  • In addition, the following equipment and operations must shut down between 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.:
    • Tractor/skidder, feller-buncher, forwarder, or shovel logging operations where tractors, skidders or other equipment with a blade capable of constructing fireline are immediately available to quickly reach and effectively attack a fire start;
    • Mechanized loading or hauling of any product or material;
    • Blasting;
    • Welding or cutting of metal;
    • Any spark-emitting not specifically mentioned above.
 The following IFPL regulations are currently in effect and will remain in effect:
  • The use of fire in any form is prohibited;
  • Commercial operations must have fire suppression equipment on the job site;
  • Watchman service must be provided.
 For more information about the Oregon Department of Forestry’s fire season regulations, contact the unit office in your area:
  • Medford Unit, 5286 Table Rock Rd., Central Point. Phone: (541) 664-3328
  • Grants Pass Unit, 5375 Monument Drive, Grants Pass. Phone: (541) 474-3152